On April 22, 1724, philosopher Immanuel Kant was born.
Aside from being the pre-eminent modern philosopher and originator of transcendental idealism, Kant was also a major figure of Enlightenment thought, a classical liberal, and the originator of the notion of the Categorial Imperative. He was an early and important astronomical theorist in his early career, but produced his greatest works towards the end of his life, including The Critique of Pure Reason and The Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. He was also author of the 1795 essay “Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch.”
Arthur Schopenhauer is widely known as an admiring and astute critic of Kant’s thought, while philosophical opponents include Friedrich Nietzsche and Ayn Rand. Kant’s approach to ethics continues to excite interest today, with some of the revival a result of the work of John Rawls.
Kant died on February 12, 1804, in Königsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia), where he had lived the bulk of his life.